The cruiser "Varangian". Fight at Chemulpo 27 January 1904 year. Part 2. But why crump?
But even this specification was not the final document. As follows from the contract, after Charles Crump returns to America, he must, "complying with preliminary specifications and following the most modern practice regarding details," and, of course, "by mutual agreement" formulate and prepare final specifications. And then on the basis of their design of the cruiser.
At the same time, the “Preliminary Specification” contained a number of flaws, such as:
1. Vagueness of language;
2. Discrepancies in the Russian and English texts of the document;
3. Arithmetic errors and clerks;
4. Direct deviations from the requirements of the ITC.
The description of the basic errors of the “Pre-specification” is given by R.M. Melnikov in the book "Cruiser" Varyag "":
1. While the MTC required the installation of Belleville boilers, the specification allowed the installation of boilers of a different system — Niclossa — on the cruiser. This was a direct violation of the instructions of the ITC;
2. As we said earlier, in Russian navy the contracted speed of the ships was supposed to develop on natural draft, but forced blast was allowed for the "Varyag" (though with some limitations, but nonetheless);
3. The specification indicated the standard form of the cruiser's driving performance for a maximum speed of twelve hours. In the contract, this requirement was replaced by two runs of six hours;
4. The technical requirements and the design of the main and auxiliary mechanisms of the “armored cruiser in the 6 000 t”, according to the conditions of the competition, were to meet the best world standards. However, in a contract with an American industrialist, this requirement mysteriously changed to "compliance with the level reached by the Kramp plant." In other words, according to the contract, it turned out that if Crump did not do something before, then he does not have to, and if the Russians want to get it, please, but only for an additional fee. Subsequently, this item was widely used by Charles Crump to its own advantage: for example, the Maritime Department was forced to pay for electric drives for auxiliary mechanisms separately;
5. According to the Russian text of the contract, the armor deck was to be made of armor used on "the best ships of this type." However, the English text kept the “small” amendment: “the best ships of the fleet of the United States”. All the most modern types of armor (i.e., quenched using the Krupp method and extra-soft nickel steel) were not used in the US Navy, which allowed Charles Crump to “shake out” the additional payment for booking the Varyag and the battleship Retvisan when the MTC began to insist on the use of these types of reservations;
6. It was not stipulated that the contract price includes the supply of a number of types of equipment and devices, such as: general ship dynamos, electric motors, electric lighting, telephones, loud battle bells and bells;
7. In the case when the ship for the domestic fleet was built abroad, its armament was often not included in the contract price - the duty to supply it remained with the Maritime Office. In this case, the weapons were ordered at domestic factories and paid for separately, respectively, its cost was not included in the contract. In such cases, the delivery was subject to guns, torpedo tubes, ammunition for them, and related devices and devices, such as spotlights. But in the case of Charles C. Krump's contract, the MTC was surprised to find that all devices for servicing guns and supplying ammunition, such as: rails, elevators, electric motors and dynamos, which were usually related to the duties of the plant, must be paid for by the Maritime Office separately;
8. The draft of the future cruiser was recognized as one of the most important parameters - its excess relative to contractual "punished" with specially stipulated fines (the first six inches - for free, but further on 21 thousand dollars for each next inch (25,4 mm)). Accordingly, the specification set the maximum size of the draft - 5,9 m. Everything would be fine, but the English text of the contract provided for the draft already 6,1 m (20 feet), and the Russian (which is an obvious misprint) - 26 feet or 7,93 m. That is one of the most important parameters of the cruiser I received three different limit values in the text, one of which was so large (7,93 m) that it could not be reached under any conditions. Naturally, the possibility of subsequently demanding reasonable precipitations or of fining Charles Crump’s firm for failing to comply with such a requirement was thereby completely excluded;
9. The metacentric height, which according to the requirements of the ITC was supposed to be at least 0,76 m, in the contract and Specification mysteriously "changed the sign to the opposite" - according to these documents it should have been no more than 0,76 m .;
10. The English text of the specification contained an enlarged summary of the scales: the body and the devices — 2900 t; power plant - 1250 t; weapons - 574 t; supply and supplies - 550 t; coal - 720 t. In the Russian text, this summary was for some reason absent.
In general, it can be stated that the contract with the firm of Charles Crump was drafted extremely illiterate and to the great advantage of the latter.
You can, of course, refer to the fact that the contract was required to prepare very quickly ... but why? Where was the rush? What benefits did this contract give us? Perhaps Charles C. Crump offered some extremely favorable prices for his products? Not at all - according to the contract, the cost of the cruiser was estimated at 2 138 000 dollars (4 233 240 rubles), while, for example, the cost of the Askold cruiser (project winning the 1898 G contest) was only 3,78 million rubles. . - of course, we are talking about ships without weapons and military supplies. That is not only that the contract for the construction of “Varyag” had a lot of “holes” that allowed Charles Crump to “legally” increase the cost of construction, as well as the initial price was significantly (approximately 12%) higher than that of the winning bidder. competitor!
However, there is a nuance that has been repeatedly discussed by lovers of the naval stories on specialized sites. The fact is that “Varyag” really seems very expensive, even at a contract price, that is, without taking into account subsequent surcharges. However, the squadron battleship Retvizan, which was contracted to build Charles Crump, had a contract value (with armor, but without armament) 4 328 000 dollars. (also with reservation, but without weapons) was 30 280 000 francs or 5 842 605 US dollars.
In other words, Retvizan seemed to cost much less for the Russian treasury than the Tsarevich, and wasn’t this the advantage of C. Crump’s commercial offer? Even such an idea was expressed that the relatively high cost of the Varyag became a form of compensation for the extremely cheap squadron battleship that the Americans undertook to build.
The version of dumping prices is certainly a very interesting and logical point of view that could explain a lot. Unfortunately, in the near future, this version does not look right, and there are three reasons for this.
The first is that, most likely, the cost of contracts Retvizana and Tsesarevich "includes a different amount of structures. We know that the tower installations of Retvizan were made in Russia, at the same time all eight towers (two of the main and six medium caliber) of the squadron battleship Tsesarevich were designed and built in France. And here an interesting question arises - whether the cost of developing tower installations was included in those same 5 842 605 US dollars of the contract price of the "Tsarevich"? I must say that we are talking about a very large amount - ordering tower 305-mm units for Retvisan cost 502 thousand rubles, or more than 253 thousand dollars. How much did the Cesarevich 152-mm unit cost, the author, unfortunately , doesn't know, but it is known that 6 152-mm towers of the squadron battleship Slava were totally more expensive than its two 305-mm towers by 18,6% (632 and 537 thousand rubles, respectively). Applying the same proportion to the cost of the Retvizan towers, and converting rubles to dollars at the then 1,98 rub / dollar rate, we understand that eight Tsesarevich towers could cost more than 550 thousand dollars.
Unfortunately, the author of this article does not have an exact answer to the question whether the cost of tower installations was included in the contract price of Tsearevich, but at the same time such arguments show that it is impossible to compare the contractual values of Retvisan and Tsesarevich this requires a detailed analysis of all specifications of both ships. At the same time, indirect data confirm the hypothesis presented by the author.
The fact is that in "most loyal report of the Navy Department of 1897-1900 years." Are the total price of battleships "Crown Prince» (14 004 286 rub.) And "Retvizan» (12 553 277 rub.) "To the mechanisms armor , artillery, mines and combat supplies. " If we exclude from these figures the contractual values of Tsesarevich and Retvizan, adding to the latter the total amount of supercontract payments that the Maritime Office paid to C. Crump for this ship (489 839 dollars, not counting supercontract payments for Varyag, of course) , and transferring dollars to rubles at the rate of 1,98 rubles for a dollar, it turns out that the cost of weapons and combat reserves of the "Tsarevich" was 2 435 928 thousand rubles, and Retvizana - 2 954 556 rubles.
Obviously, if the cost of the towers of the “Cesarevich” had been “bracketed” to the contract value, then it should have been taken into account in the “armament” column, because otherwise it would have no place to be. But in this case, guns, ammunition, etc. + 8 turret installations "Tsesarevich" should cost much more than almost the same number of artillery barrels and ammunition and two 305-mm towers "Retvisan." We see the opposite - the cost of armament of Retvizan is higher than that of the Tsarevich, and the difference (518 628 rubles) is suspiciously similar to those 502 thousand rubles that the Maritime Office paid to the Metal Plant for a couple of twelve-inch towers.
And from this it follows that (most likely!) The contract value of the “Tsesarevich” included a battleship with all tower installations, while two 305-mm towers did not enter into the contract value of Retvisan, as they were made in Russia. Of course, this increased the contract value of the first and cheapened the second.
However, they are not the same towers ... The fact is (and this is the second of the reasons we mentioned above) that Retvisan and Tsesarevich, despite the similar displacement, are very different types of warships, because Tsesarevich, with its turret The middle artillery and the heaped up sides, of course, has a much more complex structure than a ship of American construction. After all, the cost of the tower is one thing, and in order for this tower to work, it should be provided with all necessary types of energy (electricity) and many more different works should be done, and in a very specific French building. In comparison with towers, the casemate placement of medium-caliber guns is technologically many times simpler.
Of course, the fact that the contract value of the Retvizan building was determined in 30 months, and the Tsarevich value in 46 months, can be interpreted as a “special” attitude to French suppliers (as is well known, General-Admiral had a certain weakness for everything French), but, according to the author, the understanding of the ITC is much closer to the truth, that the “Tsarevich” is much more laborious to manufacture than the “Retvisan”.
This view is confirmed by the figures for the tonnage cost (that is, their cost per ton of normal displacement, taking into account weapons and combat reserves) of the squadron battleship Victory and Prince Suvorov. Both were built in Russia, at the Baltic Shipbuilding Plant in St. Petersburg, and the difference in the periods of their construction is not too large (Victory was laid on 2 a year before Suvorov) in order to significantly affect the cost of ships. But the victorious “cost” of the “Victory” was 752 RUB / t, while the “Prince Suvorov” - 1 024 RUB / t. At the same time, Pobeda was a battleship of classical architecture, and its average artillery was located in dungeons, while Suvorov was a domestic copy of Tsesarevich. As we see, the tonnage value of “Suvorov” by as much as 36,17% exceeds that of “Victory”, which indicates a significantly greater complexity of building battleships of the “French” type.
Summarizing the above, we can with a high degree of probability say that the lower price of Retvizan relative to Tsesarevich is not connected with the generosity of Mr. C. Crump, but because the Retvizan project was constructively much simpler than the French battleship. That is, it is quite possible that if we ordered the French not the “Tsarevich”, but a ship similar to the “Retvizan”, then the French could build it for a price quite comparable to that proposed by C. Crump.
But finally denies the version of the cheapness of American ships activity of the state controller, senator T. I. Filippov. He studied the contracts for the supply of Retvizan and Varyag and other documents on this transaction, discovered the errors contained in them, which caused large supercontract payments, and found this to be the most significant violations of Russian interests. Having identified all this, T.I. Filippov demanded an explanation from the Maritime Ministry. Obviously, if these shortcomings had such an rational and advantageous explanation for the treasury as the low initial cost of the ships, it would undoubtedly be presented. Instead, P. P. Tyrtov and V. P. Verkhovsky wrote the answer for more than five months and did not indicate anything like it in it — according to R. M. Melnikov, this document: "was replete with inconclusive excuses and, being a typical example of a formal defense of the" honor of the uniform ", did not contain any substantive explanations."
So, the argument in favor of the cost of construction disappears too - what remains? Maybe deadlines? But the fact is that the contract terms for the construction of “Varyag” were not too different from those of “Askold” - 20 and 23 of the month, respectively. That is, the Americans really took to build a cruiser a little faster, but only a three-month gain clearly did not justify concluding a non-competitive contract.
As we see, there were no objective reasons for concluding a contract with the firm of C. Crump before the competition, but perhaps there were some subjective ones? Indeed, there were such reasons.
To begin with, the William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company looked like a real leviathan against the background of other European companies that entered the competition for the construction of a "1st rank cruiser of 6 tons." Let us take a closer look at the Germania company (Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG "Germania"), which won the competition (and built the Askld armored cruiser for the Russian fleet). Her shipyard at the time of participation in the competition had no more than a thousand people, while the company had no experience in building large warships according to its own designs. Moreover, the history of "Germany" was a series of bankruptcies and commercial failure.
This company was established in 1867 g under the name "North German Shipbuilding Company" ("Norddeutsche Schiffbaugesellschaft") and achieved some success and recognition - for example, in 1876 g it was built on "Hohenzollern" - yes, that is the most famous Hohenzollern, the personal yacht of Kaiser Wilhelm II. However, despite this highest reputational success, only three years later (in 1879 r), the company went bankrupt.
Then it was bought by a corporation engaged in the production of steam engines in Berlin (already with 1822 D), but this did not help - now the “happy buyer” started having financial problems. As a result, a new company was founded on the basis of the existing shipyard in 1882 g, under the name known to us by “Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG" Germania ", and it has established itself as a good destroyer builder. Alas, financial troubles continued to haunt the enterprise, and in Germany, 1896 was acquired by Krupp - from that moment its expansion began, but at the same time in size and 1898 g (that is, for the duration of the competition) “ Germany ”was, by the standards of the shipbuilding industry, a small enterprise.
The Italian company Ansaldo did not go far from “Germany” - by the time the competition was held, the entire 1250 man worked on it, and although she had successfully built two armored cruisers (“Garibaldi” and “Cristobal Colon”), she also had no experience in building large warships on their own projects.
In general, it can be stated that the competition of the Russian Empire did not arouse the interest of the “pillars” of the shipbuilding industry of the Old World - third-party European firms responded to the call to design and build. But the company of Charles Crump ...
The story of "William Crump and Sons" began in 1828, when Charles-Crump's father, William Crump, built a small shipbuilding workshop.
The company gradually grew, and after the US civil war began to receive orders from the United States government and built wooden ships for 8 for it. Since then, the company has regularly created something out of the ordinary.
The largest US non-tower battleship (armored frigate "New Ironsides"). The first American ship with the car "compound". The first US transatlantic liners. A year after the death of the company's founder, William Kramp, in 1880, the number of workers and employees of the company was 2 300 people, and the company itself was the largest shipbuilding company in the USA. Before 1898, William Kramp and Sons built three battleships (Indiana, Massachusetts and Iowa) and completed the fourth (Alabama). In addition, the company handed over to the US Navy armored cruisers Brooklyn and New York, two Columbia armored cruisers, as well as Newark, Charleston, Baltimore ... The same Germany built large ships one battleship and one armored cruiser. 1898 6 people worked at the Crump shipyards to 000, that is, about three times more than in the shipyards of “Germany” and “Ansaldo” combined.
But that's not all. Without a doubt, the name and reputation of the company mean a lot, but it was extremely important that the Maritime Department already placed its orders in the shipyards "William Crump and Sons." In 1878, Kramp’s workers repaired the Cruiser’s body and clipper’s machines, and apparently did it well, because next year Charles Cruz gets a contract for as many as four 2-grade cruisers, three of which ( "Asia" and "Africa") should have been converted from civilian courts, and "Zabiyaku" should have been built from scratch. Kramp was contacted later on - in 1893, he repaired the “Dmitriy Donskoy” cruiser mineboats.
Charles Crump was known not only among the officers of the Naval Department: 1879, at the exhibition in Paris, he was presented to Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich. Incidentally, he was extremely surprised that Charles Crump, owning such a solid company, did not have shipbuilding education and was, in fact, self-taught - but this could hardly spoil the American reputation, given the brilliant successes that the company had achieved under his leadership.
Thus, without a doubt, Admirals of the Navy Department Charles Crump was represented by the owner of one of the leading shipbuilding companies in the world, who already worked for the Russian fleet, and this undoubtedly played a role in their receipt of an order for Retvisan and Varyag. But ... the fact is that another thing is also true: as a result of interaction with the firm “William Crump and Sons”, the Navy had a “pleasure” to make sure ... how to say it more politely? "A little" adventurous nature of its owner. Let us return briefly by the time when Crump and Sons received a contract for the 2 rank cruiser.
So, 8 February 1878 g, at the end of the next Russian-Turkish war, and with the direct participation of England, Russia was forced upon by the unsuccessful for it San Stefano peace treaty. In response, the Maritime Office blew dust from the cruising war against Britain plan - it was a very interesting plan developed in 1863, in which the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans were cut into 15 sectors, in each of which Russian cruiser. A huge advantage of this plan was a very thought-out system for providing these cruisers - it was planned to deploy a whole network of supply vessels, etc. In general, the plan was good for everyone, except for one - fifteen cruisers from Russia at that time was not. And so, in order to quickly replenish their number, an “expedition to America” was undertaken to acquire and convert four suitable US civilian ships into cruisers. However, for the “cruiser №4” the tasks were very different from the other three - in it the Maritime Department wanted to see not only a raider, but also a high-speed reconnaissance officer in a squadron capable of performing a stationary role in peacetime. In other words, the cruiser was supposed to become small (within 1200 t), but rather fast (15 nodes under the machine and 13 under the sails). At the same time, coal consumption at full speed should not exceed 23 t / day. They did not find a suitable civilian vessel for such requirements, so it was decided to build a ship, ordering it from one of the US shipbuilding firms.
So - I must say that the best conditions for the construction of the cruiser No. XXUMX, which later became Zabiyakoy, were offered to the Boston shipyard, which, when all other Russian requirements were met, was taken to ensure speed in 4 units and offered the lowest price for the ship - 15,5 thousand dollars. However, Charles Crump played into the hands of the fact that he had previously received a contract for the conversion of three ships in the cruisers "Europe", "Asia" and "Africa". At the same time, Charles Crump undertook to build a ship that fully met the specified “technical task” in the required time frame.
In June, the 1878 g of the “Cruiser No. 4” was laid, and the 22 of February, the 1879 of the Zabijaka, with more than two months late from the schedule, went on trial trials, of which Charles Crump created the real show. The cruiser easily reached its maximum speed in 15,5 knots, having surpassed the contract half a knot, and its average speed was 14,3 knots. Of course, there were newspapermen on board the ship, and the ship’s unexpectedly high performance literally blew up, as it is now fashionable to say, the “information space” - the New York Herald spoke of “Bully” in a superlative way, and the solid magazine American Thorn and in general, he managed to declare that "the ship is superior to any military cruiser built in the world."
Newspapers, not being professionals, overlooked one of the most important nuances - “Zabiyaka” went on a run not just underloaded, but totally underloaded. At the design displacement in 1 236 t, in which he was to be tested, C. Crump brought the cruiser into mileage only in the displacement 832 t. A huge amount of necessary equipment and other goods, as well as weapons on the ship was not yet, and was not taken ballast, which could compensate for these weights. Of course, shipbuilders of other countries also sinned with similar methods, but ... by a third of the displacement ?!
Of course, it was impossible for the Russian officers who exercised control and acceptance of the ship to “rub in their glasses”. And in fact Charles Crump passed the ship:
1. With a two-month late;
2. With submerging at 1 foot - it must be said that under the terms of the contract, when the ship’s draft, which is more than a foot draft, the Navy had the right to refuse the cruiser altogether;
3. With a maximum speed in 14,5 knots - that is, half a node below the contract;
4. And, finally, with the consumption of coal and a half times greater than it was supposed under the terms of the contract.
In essence, it was possible to say that the ship should not have been taken to the treasury at all, but ... despite the failure to reach the contractual conditions, the ship still turned out to be not so bad, and the Russian cruisers were urgently needed. Therefore, it was decided not to leave the “Bullock” by C. Crump, and the cruiser eventually raised the St. Andrew’s flag. But still the enterprise of C. Crump in this case did not justify the hopes placed on him (to be fair, we’ll clarify that William Crump and Sons did much better with the re-equipment of "Europe", "Asia" and "Africa".
However, attention is drawn to the financial policy of C. Krump. As we have said, the Boston shipyard proposed to build a cruiser with a speed of 15,5 bonds. for 250 thousand dollars, Charles Crump also asked for the construction of the "cruiser №4" 275 thousand dollars, that is, 25 thousand dollars more. However, this amount did not satisfy Charles Crump at all, and therefore during construction, he resisted the nuances that were not stipulated by the contract and managed to get over-contract payments in the amount of 50 662 dollars! Thus, the total cost of “Zabiyaki” was aimed at 325,6 thousand dollars, which is more than 30% more than the initial price of the Boston shipyard.
But in the year 1879 it was found who would short the appetites of the American industrialist. The maritime agency fully agreed and confirmed both 275 thousand dollars of the initial price and 50,6 thousand dollars of payments over the contract. And then, with an unwavering hand and pointing out the relevant paragraphs, recovered from Charles Crump for all the violations committed by him with fines totaling 158 thousand dollars. As a result of this negotiation, “Bully” for which only 167 thousand 662 was paid dollars was perhaps the cheapest overseas acquisition of the Russian Imperial Navy in the history of its existence.
Thus, as we have said before, his thoroughness and reputation spoke in favor of the enterprise of Charles Crump. But the history of the construction of the Bully Hero clearly showed that despite all its “regalia”, Charles Crump would not disdain to increase his own profit in any way and it does not matter whether this method is legal and fair or not.
Such “uncleanliness”, of course, does not mean that you can’t have anything to do with Charles Crump’s firm. In business, there is generally no honesty in the biblical understanding of the word. The honesty that can be expected from a businessman is the fulfillment of a contract signed with him in accordance with each of his clauses. If the contract is scrupulously executed, but the customer did not receive what he wanted, then these are the problems of the customer, who should learn to formulate his requirements more clearly. Accordingly, the story of “Bully-Eaters” irrefutably testified that with Charles Crump one should have kept his ears open and be extremely attentive and careful in all matters and in the wording of any document signed with him.
At the same time, there were many ways in which one could conduct business with Charles Crump. Without a doubt, it would be best to accept his project and consider it the ITC on a general basis with the projects of other companies that sent their proposals to the competition. But no one forbade entering into an agreement out of competition with him - only in this case it was necessary first to get developed project from C. Crump, coordinate it with ITC and only then finally approve both the decision to order Charles Crump's ships and the cost of acquiring them. In this case, all the advantages would remain on the side of the Maritime Department and the ITC, and Charles Crump would have to play the role of “what would you like?” To the last, without too much lifting the prices. And then, after the project had been developed and agreed by the parties, it turned out to be much more difficult for Charles Crump to bargain for over-contract payments or other relief measures. Alas, instead, what was done was done, and we see no single reason justifying such a strange haste in a deal with a American industrialist.
Thus, we can only congratulate Mr. Charles Crump on an extremely successful deal for his company.
Продолжение следует ...
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.